You are on page 1of 2

Electric Field Gravitational Field

Definition A region in space where an electric force is felt by a charge. A region in space where a gravitational force is felt by
a mass.
Nature of Field Depends on physical quantity of electric charge Depends on physical quantity of mass
Can be attractive or repulsive Always attractive
Variation of Field Both are inverse square law fields.
with Distance
Conservative Both electric force and gravitational force are conservative forces
Fields
=> wd by an electric force or gravitational force is independent of path taken, and depends only on the initial and final
positions
Law of Forces Coulomb’s Law Newton’s Law of Gravitation

The electric force acting between any two point charges in The gravitational force of attraction between any two
the universe is directly proportional to the product of the point masses in the universe is directly proportional to
charges, and inversely proportional to the square of their the product of their masses and inversely proportional
distance apart. It acts along the line joining the two point to the square of their distance apart. It acts along the
charges. line joining the two point masses.
Force between Electric force between 2 point charges or between 2 Gravitational force between 2 point masses or
two particles or
uniformly charged spheres: between 2 uniform spheres:
two uniform
spheres q1q 2 G m1 m 2
F= F=
4π εo r 2 r2
Relationship Electric force = negative electric potential energy gradient Gravitational force = negative gravitational potential energy
between force dU gradient
and potential F =− dU
energy dr F =−
dr
Definition of Electric Field Gravitational Field Strength / Intensity
Field Strength /
Intensity
Electric field strength at a point is defined as the electric The gravitational field strength / intensity at a point is
force experienced per unit charge on a small positive test defined as the gravitational force experienced per unit
charge placed at that point in the field. It acts in the direction mass by a small test mass placed at that point in the
in which the positive test charge would move. gravitational field.
Field of a particle Electric field of a point charge or uniformly charged sphere: Gravitational field of a point mass or uniform sphere:
or uniform
Q GM
sphere E= g=
4πεo r 2 r2
F V F
E= , E= g=
q d m

Unit: NC-1 or Vm-1 Unit: Nkg-1 or ms-2
Relationship Electric field strength = negative electric potential gradient Gravitational field strength = negative gravitational
between field and
dV potential gradient
potential E =− dφ
dr g =−
dr
Definition of Electric Potential Energy Gravitational Potential Energy
Potential Energy
The electric potential energy of a system of charges is The gravitational potential energy of a system of
defined as the work done by an external force to bring the masses is defined as the work done by an external
charges from infinity to their respective positions in the agent to bring the masses from infinity to their
system, without producing any acceleration of the charges. respective positions in the system, without producing
any acceleration of the masses.
Potential energy Electric potential energy of 2 point charges or 2 uniformly Gravitational potential energy of 2 point masses or 2
of two particles
charged spheres: uniform spheres:
or two uniform
spheres q 1q 2 G m1m 2
U= U=
4πεo r r
Definition of Electric Potential Gravitational Potential
Potential

Esther Luar <este11@yahoo.com> Page 1 http://este.lu-c.net/

net/ . without bringing a small test mass from infinity to that point. The electric potential at a point is defined as the work done The gravitational potential at a point is defined as the per unit charge by an external agent in bringing a small work done per unit mass by an external agent in positive test charge from infinity to that point. without producing any acceleration of the mass.com> Page 2 http://este. Potential of a Electric potential of a point charge or uniformly charged Gravitational potential of a point mass or uniform particle or sphere: sphere: uniform sphere Q GM V= φ=− 4πεo r r Unit: JC-1 or V (Scalar) Unit: Jkg-1 (Scalar) Esther Luar <este11@yahoo. producing any acceleration of the charge.lu-c.